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Just diagnosed with coronary heart disease

If you have been diagnosed with coronary heart disease (CHD), you can reduce your risk of further episodes by making simple lifestyle changes. Stopping smoking after a heart attack, for example, will quickly reduce your risk of a future heart attack to near that of a non-smoker.

Other lifestyle changes, such as eating more healthily and being more physically active, will also reduce your future risk of heart disease.

Many different medicines are used to treat CHD. Some heart medicines have side effects, so it may take a while to find one that works for you. Your doctor or specialist will be able to discuss the various options with you.

If your blood vessels are narrow due to a build up of atheroma (fatty deposits), or if your symptoms cannot be controlled using medicines, surgery may be needed to open up or replace the blocked arteries.

In a small number of cases, when the heart is severely damaged and medicine is not effective, or when the heart becomes less efficient at pumping blood around the body (heart failure), a heart transplant may be needed.

The Heart Foundation can provide further information on CHD through their website www.heartfoundation.org.au, or by calling their information line on 1300 36 27 87.

Sources: Heart Foundation (homepage), NHS Choices, UK (Treating heart disease)

Last reviewed: August 2015

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